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1. Is a PhD at the University of Reading right for you? 

Before applying for our PhD programme, please read our What to expect during your PhD guide.

To find out how to apply for the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Mathematics for our Future Climate programme, please read our Mathematics for our Future Climate page.

2. Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our PhD programme, you'll need a Bachelor's degree of at least 2:1 level (or equivalent), or a master's degree, in a subject related to your proposed PhD research topic.

If you are from outside the UK, you'll also need to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency with written and spoken English.

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Doctoral and Researcher College website.

3. Select a topic

There are three routes to applying for a PhD in our Department:

  • Explore ourPhD opportunities to see which projects are currently available. If you choose this route, your supervisor will be included in the project outline, so you can skip the next step (Identify a supervisor).
  • Draft your own research proposal in consultation with a supervisor. If you choose this route, you'll need to outline the project you wish to undertake. Make sure your research aligns with research carried out in our Department and then identify a relevant supervisor.
  • Ask a supervisor to help you draft a research project. If you choose this route, you’ll need to identify a potential supervisor, who has relevant expertise.

4. Identify a supervisor

Once you have identified a relevant supervisor, we recommend that you contact them to discuss your proposed PhD project and check whether it is suitable.

It must be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you and should address a perceived "gap" in the literature. Most importantly, it should be of interest to you.

If you would like assistance with identifying potential supervisors then please contact the School's Director of Postgraduate Research Studies by emailing or calling +44 (0) 118 378 7027.

It is not essential to communicate directly with the Department before submitting your application, but many candidates find it helpful.

5. Make an application

Whether or not you have spoken to a potential supervisor in the Department, please apply using the PhD and professional doctorate online application system. You are strongly encouraged to read the Doctoral and Researcher College's guidance on how to write a research proposal before submitting your application.

You'll need to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees.

Although you'll be working with a specific department or supervisor, all PhD applications must be made centrally. The University will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to our Department.

Although most new students join the PhD programme in September, it's possible to start your studies at any point during the academic year.

Our research

97% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy).


Find out more from our students and staff about what it's like to study and work in the University of Reading School of Pharmacy.


Work with us

Take advantage of our close links to industry, tech start-ups and patients and the public, giving you a wealth of opportunities to network.